For the first half of 2016 Santa Barbara and surrounding areas have seen the market trend differently than last year. The median price for homes this year is up 3%, number of sales are down 9%, and number under contract is also down 9%. For condos the median price is up 8%, number of sales are down 29%, and number under contract is down 27%. In 2015 percentages in all of these categories were up with the exception of number of homes under contract. With only 3% less condos on the market this year than last, and 1% more homes, it’s fair to say that inventory levels have not been the main contributor to current market trend changes. It’s also fair to say that interest rates, which have continued to stay at historically low levels, have not been a contributor to the lower number of sales.
So what’s driving Santa Barbara’s current market trend changes? The answer can certainly be connected to buyer/seller motivation, which naturally tends to change during times of economic uncertainty, and this year has been compounded by a controversial presidential election that is ready to unfold. A couple of good readings published this year on the topic include: Why markets tend to fall during a presidential election year and What an election year means for house prices.
Investment wise it can seem counterintuitive to purchase a home when the market is slow and others aren’t buying, however financial gain is no stranger to individuals who do what most others aren’t doing. If you’ve been waiting for a dip in the Santa Barbara real estate market to make an investment this may be your best chance for some time. I appreciate your inquiries and look forward to connecting you with the best opportunities in the market today.